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What's a Good Internet Speed? Work, School, Streaming, More

Internet usage has evolved since the early days of broadband. Our data use has increased from small four-minute clips on video sharing sites to two-hour movie streaming platforms. The best solution to meet this growing demand is gig-speed fiber internet.

Fast, reliable internet connections are essential if you want to enjoy the full benefits of internet use at home. Working online, browsing social media, and controlling smart home devices such as doorbells, coffeemakers, and thermostats have become commonplace. So it’s no surprise that when the pandemic hit, life became stressful for the nearly three out of every four residents who claimed difficulty accessing high-speed internet.

Since the pandemic caused the world to turn digital overnight, a reliably good and fast internet connection became more of a necessity than a preference. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of internet service options available these days, whether you’re an avid gamer or a remote worker looking for the best deal on internet service.

What Is a Good Internet Speed?

Speeds between 50 Mbps and a Gig can be considered “good” internet speed, depending on what you’re using it for. For example, people who work from home and are on frequent Zoom calls need a faster speed than those occasionally shopping online. On top of that, you also need to factor in schoolwork, entertainment, and smart home devices.

Every year, the average monthly consumption more than doubles in size. This is due to the increasing demand and quality of new forms of entertainment. Since higher quality means higher resolution, this also leads to higher data consumption. It's always a game of balance between your internet plan and your data consumption.

To accommodate this, fiber internet plans like Fidium Fiber offer speeds of 50 Mbps, 250 Mbps, or 1 Gigabit. Since there’s no contract, it’s easy to change plans to fit your needs.

Internet Speed Classifications

To get started, let's compare the following internet speed categories. Each category of internet speed aligns with the size of the household and the expected internet usage.

Here's what you can expect from different ranges of scenarios—from smaller living quarters with little internet use to internet-heavy households. 

< 25 Mbps

25 to 40 Mbps

 

40 to 100 Mbps

100 to 250 Mbps

250 to 500 Mbps

< 500 to 1000 Mbps (1 Gig)

 

Best for households with minimal internet use

Best for smaller households with average use

Best for households with above-average use

 

 

Best for larger households, home office and running a small online business

Best for heavy streaming households, and smart homes. Also ideal for creative freelancers, small business owners working from home

Ideal for seamless access, including heavy internet usage across tons of devices and future-proofing your home

SPEED SUMMARY: SLOW

SPEED SUMMARY: BASIC

SPEED SUMMARY: AVERAGE

 

SPEED SUMMARY: ABOVE AVERAGE

SPEED SUMMARY: FAST

SPEED SUMMARY: GIGA FAST

# of Users:

1-2

# of Users

1-2

# of Users:

2-3

# of Users:

3-5

# of Users:

5+

# of Users: 

5+

What you can do:

 

✔ Browse email

✔ Listen to music (limited to one device)

✔ Google search

✔ Social media use

 

 

 

What you can do:

 

✔ Video streaming (limited to one device)

✔ Online gaming (limited to a single player)

✔ Video calls

✔ Watch YouTube and Netflix (limited to two devices)

✔ Quick loading time for most websites

What you can do:

 

✔HD video streaming on several devices

✔ Online gaming (multiple players)

✔ Large file down

✔ Heavy web browsing

 

 

What you can do:

 

✔Video streaming in Ultra High Definition (multiple users)

✔ Quick download time

✔Competitive online gaming (multiple players)

✔Home Security

✔ Power smart home devices

 

 

 

What you can do:

 

✔ 4k streaming

✔ managing a home office or working from home (creative professions)

✔Home security

✔ Power smart home devices

 

 

 

What you can do:

 

✔ Huge downloads and file transfers in seconds

✔ live video streaming

✔ Plenty of everything without interruption

✔ Add as many internet-loving devices your home can handle

✔ Make your home as internet-friendly as it can be

 

 

*1 Mbps is more effective than dial-up internet

 

*Anything above this is regarded as high-speed internet

*40 Mbps is fast enough to be considered broadband, and can accommodate 2-3 people

 

* 50 Mbps allow you to stream UHD videos on two devices and download 4K ultra HD movies in less than an hour. Above average use between 2-3 people.

 

 

*100 Mbps is enough to handle the above mentioned activities for multiple users or devices without interruption

 

*150 Mbps is more suitable for a household with 4 gamers or small business owners working from home

 

*250 Mbps is faster than most internet service plans available for residential areas.

 

*500 Mbps allow you to stream ultraHD videos on up to 20 devices.

*1000 Mbps is considered Gig internet speed

 

 

Your choice of internet service plan should focus on internet speeds that benefit your experience. When you use the internet, consider the following guidelines:

  • Documents should be available instantly for work and reading.
  • Video and music downloads shouldn’t take an entire day.
  • Streaming services shouldn’t buffer every other minute.

Now, you have a baseline to assess internet speeds for households. Next, let’s dive into the best internet speeds for different activities, such as streaming, gaming, or work productivity.

What is good internet speed for streaming?

100 Mbps speeds and above are ideal for Ultra-HD video streams, which are becoming more common. Additionally, internet speeds often fluctuate, so it’s ideal to aim for a 35-40% buffer. For a smooth 50 Mbps experience, you might consider moving up to 250 Mbps. Or if you’re considering a 250 Mbps experience, get 1 Gigabit, and so on.

High-speed internet is more affordable now than ever, due to the availability of competitive packages as more internet service providers (ISPs) have started offering fiber plans.

Check if a network connection can handle your favorite shows on many devices simultaneously. This also extends to video chatting, accessing online classes, and playing games. If you can do all these without lag, then it’s the right one for you.

What is good internet speed for gaming?

If you like playing just for fun and to break the ice, a minimum speed of 50 Mbps is recommended. Here, not only do you get to have a steady stream of matches, but one or two other people can watch and stream without thinning out the bandwidth.

If you’re a hardcore gamer and need the cutting-edge advantage, consider opting for a minimum of 250 Mbps. With 5x the base speed and a potential minimum fluctuation speed of 180-200 Mbps in download and upload speeds, you get the massive boost in accuracy and low latency, while still leaving leg-room for streaming or social media use.

A good internet speed for gaming should be able to seamlessly give you the best possible gaming experience you could have. Gaming should be played with ample bandwidth and low latency that reduces ping/packet loss for the best possible experience. This technical jargon means a good internet speed for gaming is when you have a stable internet connection so that the time it takes from pressing the “jump” button to when the character actually jumps, is unnoticeable.

Despite the great graphics and speed of most games, data use has become more efficient. In one average game of Valorant, the hourly consumption dishes out 290 Mbps (Megabytes) over a session.

In the same observation, the second most data-intensive game CS:GO consumed 250 Mbps. That game wasn’t even nearly as graphic-intensive, so expect games like Team Fortress 2, Apex Legends, and even World of Warcraft to have lighter bandwidth, too.

An important point in choosing a good internet speed for gaming is planning for non-gaming activities too. Fidium Fiber’s Gig-speed plan can support gamers and non-gamers living under the same roof. Fiber optic connections provide little to no lag, no latency, are instantaneous and responsive, you won’t just play games – you’ll blast right through them.

What’s a good internet speed for working from home?

A good internet plan for your home office allows you to send and receive large amounts of data. Data-heavy activities can include accessing office productivity systems and video conferences, such as Microsoft Live apps, Slack, Zoom, and many others. Be aware that a network’s 100 Mbps download speed might yield 80 Mbps, but it's upload speed might only be 60 Mbps. With Fidium Fiber, upload and download speeds are the same, so this won’t be an issue.

If you’re going to exchange live information and are in video conferences 24/7, it’s key to keep an eye on that upload speed as well as your download. Video calls require minimal packet loss, or the delay between information being sent and received, to ensure a smooth flow for all parties. The best internet speeds for home office setups handle multiple devices at consistent speeds. Fidium Fiber gives equal speeds, so you won’t need to worry about dips in your download and upload speeds.

Here are the requirements for some of the most frequently used digital workplace apps:

Application

Upload Speed

Download Speed

Zoom

2 Mbps

2 Mbps

Slack

0.1 - 0.6 Mbps

0.2 - 4 Mbps

Email

1 Mbps

1 Mbps

Skype Group Calls

0.5 Mbps

2 - 8 Mbps

File Transfers

can take up more than 40 Mbps to perform

 

Zoom and email are the only two with equal download and upload speed, so that the video conference calls run smoothly and without hiccups. It's a great app for video calling, compared with Skype and Google Meet conferencing. When Zoom detects a faulty connection, it immediately throttles its data usage to balance sound and video quality. This is to ensure both received and delivered video matches up with your speed.

You can determine your preferred speed by looking at the following guidelines based on your job role and needs:

  • Choose the 50 Mbps option if you’re online for most of work and still want flexibility with your off-time. This allows you to still use most productivity applications with no hiccups while having time for streaming services.
  • Choose the 250 Mbps option if you join or host video conferences often. For applications like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, this plan offers clarity and seamless transmissions. Enjoy little to no lag, clear visuals and sound, and the ability to multitask cloud services.
  • Choose a Gigabit internet plan if you want to work efficiently while running multiple other devices in your home. You’ll enjoy virtually no lag, near-zero latency, the works.

Always plan upwards of your network’s expectations. When you match your network’s plans for present needs rather than future expectations, next year’s data requirements might be too intensive. Remember, you’re also choosing the speed for everyone else in your household.

Other Important Internet Speed FAQs

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the measure of how much data a connection can handle at any point. Stronger bandwidths mean more media you can buffer in one instance.

Bandwidth is also a measure of how much data you’re using before the connection becomes unstable. It’s like an internet highway. If you put more cars on the road that can handle it, things will slow down.

Some fiber plans, such as Fidium, offer gigabit-speed internet service to handle hefty bandwidths. And Gigabit connections are a thousand times faster than megabit speeds, so your data consumption would never go overboard.

How do I perform an internet speed test?

There are two types of internet speed tests you can try: a Device Speed Test over WiFi, or a Direct Internet Connection Speed Test. And depending on what information you’re after will help you decide which speed test to conduct.

A Device Speed Test over WiFi measures the speed from a specific connected device on your network to the speed test’s server. This may be helpful if you’re trying to troubleshoot one device’s internet connection.

A Direct Internet Connection Speed Test, however, measures the internet speed coming to your home from your internet service provider. This test may help determine if you’re getting the upload and download speeds you’re expecting at your home.

Here’s the best part: Testing your internet speed has never been easier. With the Fidium Attune WiFi app (available on both Apple and Google Play), not only can you run the most accurate speed test for all your devices, you can also closely monitor your speed over time as well as review the overall health of all your connections. So, whether it’s a Device Speed Test over WiFi or a Direct Internet Connection Speed Test, Fidium has you covered.

What do I need download and upload speed for?

Download speed determines how quickly your connection can transfer data from the server and deliver it to you. As a result, it plays a key role in video or music streaming, website loading, and file downloads.

With only 1 Gig of fiber optic internet, you can download a two-hour-long HD movie in less than a minute. This normally takes about seven to 30 minutes for cable internet and DSL. Fidium Fiber has ultra-fast plans with symmetrical speeds from 50 Mbps to 1 Gig – that’s a huge bandwidth.

Inversely, upload speed corresponds to how fast the connection can deliver your data to a server. It’s crucial in forwarding emails and files to others, as well as gaming and video chats.

People pay more attention to download speeds, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, upload traffic has gone up. Everyone needs more upload bandwidth to attend online meetings, classes, and friends and family conference calls. Unfortunately, a slow internet speed can restrict performance of these online activities.

Download speed is often compared with upload speed. It’s because they are the best metrics to look at when gauging internet speed and performance.

Do I need Gigabit Internet?

Leveling up your “stay-at-home” experience may mean bumping up your internet plan. And fiber optic internet has plenty of advantages:

  • It’s ultra-fast and reliable. Do you need to get some work done ASAP? Since home fiber internet services have symmetrical upload and download speeds, you can transfer and submit files in a jiff.
  • It provides a better gaming and streaming experience. You won’t have to worry about your favorite movies and games pausing to buffer just when you were getting to the good parts.

Here’s the best part: Just a few years ago, only people living in big cities could get their hands on Gig-speed internet. However, Fidium Fiber set out to solve this issue by offering the same high quality product to suburban and rural areas who historically have not had access to this “internet of the future”.

Don’t be intimidated by its competence and effectiveness. Fiber internet is both budget-friendly and worth every penny, so long as you sign up with a credible internet provider.

Can I speed up my internet connection?

A good internet speed doesn’t mean your internet won’t bog down. Here are some tips to speed up your internet:

  • Don’t leave unused applications open
  • Perform regular updates on your computer and browser
  • Restart your modem or router
  • Maximize your router’s performance
  • Clear your cache
  • Opt for a wired connection

Finding reliable high-speed internet is an ever-increasing necessity for modern living. Do a careful assessment of your household and lifestyle to choose a plan that’s right for you.

To get the optimal speed in your area, check if Fidium Fiber is available. Whatever your internet needs are—streaming, playing games, listening to music, working from home ⎯we have a fiber internet plan that can handle it.

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